Mississippi State defense too much for Cougars

McDonald lead the Cougar rushing attack against MSU (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Three defensive touchdowns by Mississippi State helped the Bulldogs defeat the Cougars, 44-28, on Thursday night in Cougar Stadium.

MSU started off the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run by Dicenzo Miller and a 22-yard field goal by Scott Westerfield in the first quarter. In the second quarter, BYU came back on a 39-yard touchdown strike from Charlie Peterson to Jonathan Pittman, bringing the score to 10-7. But, three big plays later - a 56-yard touchdown run by MSU quarterback Wayne Madkin, a fumble recovered in the end-zone by Mississippi State's Mario Haggan and a 78-yard touchdown pass to Miller -- and the Bulldogs were on top 31-7.

"It was one of those mixed bags," said LaVell Edwards. "It was one of the most bizarre games I can recall. In the first half we couldn't tackle a soul. But, in the second half, I thought the defense did pretty well. We came out in the first half a little tight and I'm not sure why."

The Cougars came back in the second half with a 2-yard touchdown run by freshman Marcus Whalen, and a fumbled punt return gave BYU the ball in Mississippi State territory. The Cougars drove to the Bulldog 2-yard line, but the turnover bug bit once again as Peterson fumbled the snap and MSU's Josh Morgan picked up the ball and ran 97 yards for the touchdown.

On the very next possession, BYU staged a comeback once again, scoring on a 3-yard run by Brian McDonald, but the Bulldog defense came through with their final score of the night when Conne Stephens ran back an interception 36 yards for the touchdown, putting the Bulldogs up 44-21. BYU scored one final touchdown on a pass play to Pittman, for a final of 44-28.

In a game plagued with penalties and turnovers, the difference in the game was the two fumbles and an interception returned for touchdowns by Mississippi State. With 12:11 left in the half, BYU quarterback Charlie Peterson was hit at the BYU 17-yard line, fumbling the ball into the end-zone where it was recovered by Mario Haggan of Mississippi State for a touchdown, putting the Bulldogs on top, 24-7.

Two records were preserved as Hooks caught 8 passes for 68 yards to keep his 28-game catching streak alive. Hooks also passed Mark Bellini to move to sixth on the career yardage list with 2,375 yards. And, with a second quarter touchdown, BYU extends its scoring streak to 318 games.

BYU will play its second straight home game when the Cougars take on conference foe UNLV in Cougar Stadium on September 23.

Box Score (Final)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Mississippi State... 10 21 7 6 - 44 Record: (2-0)

Brigham Young....... 0 7 7 14 - 28 Record: (1-3,0-1)

Scoring Summary:

1st 11:37 MSU - MILLER, Dicenzo 14 yd run (WESTERFIELD, Sc kick),

9 plays, 80 yards, TOP 3:23, MSU 7 - BYU 0

01:03 MSU - WESTERFIELD, Sc 22 yd field goal,

8 plays, 68 yards, TOP 2:37, MSU 10 - BYU 0

2nd 14:51 BYU - PITTMAN, Jonath 39 yd pass from PETERSON, Charl (POCHMAN, Owen kick),

5 plays, 48 yards, TOP 1:12, MSU 10 - BYU 7

13:04 MSU - MADKIN, Wayne 56 yd run (WESTERFIELD, Sc kick),

4 plays, 74 yards, TOP 1:47, MSU 17 - BYU 7

12:11 MSU - WYMS, Ellis 0 yd fumble recovery (WESTERFIELD, Sc kick),

MSU 24 - BYU 7

09:03 MSU - MILLER, Dicenzo 78 yd pass from MADKIN, Wayne (WESTERFIELD, Sc kick),

2 plays, 78 yards, TOP 1:11, MSU 31 - BYU 7

3rd 10:45 BYU - WHALEN, Marcus 2 yd run (POCHMAN, Owen kick),

5 plays, 19 yards, TOP 1:45, MSU 31 - BYU 14

03:49 MSU - MORGAN, Josh 97 yd fumble recovery (WESTERFIELD, Sc kick),

MSU 38 - BYU 14

4th 10:12 BYU - MCDONALD, Brian 3 yd run (POCHMAN, Owen kick),

12 plays, 75 yards, TOP 5:11, MSU 38 - BYU 21

06:03 MSU - STEPHENS, Conne 36 yd interception return (MILLER, Dicenzo rush failed),

MSU 44 - BYU 21

01:55 BYU - PITTMAN, Jonath 19 yd pass from PETERSON, Charl (POCHMAN, Owen kick),

10 plays, 80 yards, TOP 4:08, MSU 44 - BYU 28

MSU BYU

FIRST DOWNS................... 14 27

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 33-208 32-65

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 167 268

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 20-13-0 50-27-2

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 53-375 82-333

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 1-97 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 4-48 3-15

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 1-26 4-101

Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-36 0-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 5-50.0 6-53.2

Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-2 2-2

Penalties-Yards............... 16-132 7-57

Possession Time............... 24:20 35:40

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 3-23 1-9

RUSHING: Mississippi State-MADKIN, Wayne 7-104; WALKER, Dontae 12-44;

MILLER, Dicenzo 10-40; JENKINS, Justin 1-16; GRIFFITH, Justi 2-3;

WILLIAMSON, Ken 1-1. Brigham Young-MCDONALD, Brian 16-52; WHALEN, Marcus

5-22; SITAKE, Kalani 3-11; PETERSON, Charl 8-minus 20.

PASSING: Mississippi State-MADKIN, Wayne 12-19-0-150; FANT, Kevin 1-1-0-17.

Brigham Young-PETERSON, Charl 27-50-2-268.

RECEIVING: Mississippi State-GRIFFITH, Justi 4-17; LEE, Donald 3-34; MILLER,

Dicenzo 2-87; GRINDLE, Terrel 2-19; BUTLER, Brandon 1-7; LINDSEY, Harold

1-3. Brigham Young-HOOKS, Margin 8-68; HORTON, Ben 4-49; SNOWDEN, Will 3-21;

MCDONALD, Brian 3-8; PITTMAN, Jonath 2-58; RIGELL, Mike 2-33; JOLLEY, Doug

2-1; WHALEN, Marcus 1-13; OFAHENGAUE, Tev 1-9; SITAKE, Kalani 1-8.

INTERCEPTIONS: Mississippi State-MORGAN, Josh 1-0; STEPHENS, Conne 1-36.

Brigham Young-None.

Stadium: Cougar Stadium Attendance: 60278

Kickoff time: 6:05 End of Game: 9:34 Total elapsed time: 3:29

Officials: Referee: Steve Landis; Umpire: Wally Hough; Linesman: Joe Dawson;

Line judge: Mike Shirey; Back judge: Lee Dyer; Field judge: Mike Washington;

Side judge: Stanley Dixon; Scorer: Media Relations;

Temperature: 88 Wind: NE 5-10 Weather: Clear and Warm

SACKS (UA-A): Mississippi State-PRATHER, Pig 2-0; HAGGAN, Mario 1-0. Brigham

Young-GALI, Setema 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Mississippi State-PRATHER, Pig 12-1; MORGAN, Josh 11-2;

HAGGAN, Mario 5-1; DAVIS, Dorsett 4-0; CLINTON, Eugene 4-0; SMOOT, Fred 3-0;

WYMS, Ellis 2-1; GOLLIDAY, Toby 2-0; BYRDSONG, Shawn 1-1; KNIGHT, Rob 1-1;

GRIFFITH, Juliu 1-0; CLARK, Jason 1-0; BROWN, Boone 1-0; WHITE, George 1-0;

BILLIE, Ivan 1-0; JONES, Blake 1-0; STOWERS, Curtis 1-0; MILLER, Dicenzo

1-0; STEPHENS, Conne 1-0; ROBERTSON, Dway 1-0; ROBERSON, Kenda 0-1. Brigham

Young-KELLEY, Isaac 4-2; WALKENHORST, Pa 3-2; ENA, Justin 1-4; HOKE, Chris

2-2; LEE, Jared 3-0; PHILLIPS, Danny 3-0; SMITH, Tyson 3-0; GALI, Setema

3-0; OLSEN, Hans 2-1; LOWE, Josh 1-1; NIELSON, Mike 0-2; JOINER, Isiah 1-0;

STEARNS, Ned 1-0; ORD, Andy 1-0; WILSON, Derrus 1-0; EDWARDS, Elan 1-0;

STALEY, Dustin 1-0; CARLSON, Brent 0-1; WARD, Anthony 0-1; FALES, Andrew

0-1; KEISEL, Brett 0-1.

Tags: Results